Dan Sicko a Detroit-based music journalist who chronicled Detroit’s techno music died Sunday (Aug. 28) from ocular Melanoma at his home in Ferndale, Mich., according to the Detroit Free Press.
Sicko, may be best know for his book “Techno Rebels: The Renegades of Electronic Funk” (1999, Billboard Books), one of the first books to chronicle in-depth the advent and rise of techno music in Detroit and beyond. As Sicko wrote about the book, now in an expanded second edition, on his Tehcho Rebels site, “when it was originally published Techno Rebels became the definitive text on a hard-to-define but vital genre of music.”
He also worked as a freelance writer for electronic/dance music magazines such Wired and Urb as well as Rolling Stone, according to the Create Digital Music site. Recently he had worked at the Detroit office of Organic, Inc as the Creative Director, He was also responsible for the launch of Reverb, an early digital music magazine.
A site that had been set up to raise funds for the Sicko’s illness yesterday posted news of his Sicko’s death: “We are deeply saddened to let you know that Dan passed away peacefully this morning. We have no way to adequately express our gratitude to all of you who reached out to help Dan. You responded in a way we never could have imagined. Your notes and thoughts have kept us going. We are blessed to feel all the love people have for Dan. Thank you to each and every one of you. Arrangements are pending.”
Despite his lingering illness, Sicko remained engaged with the Detroit music scene and in a blog post on his Techno Rebels site he wrote about attending the first day for this year’s Detroit Movement Fest: “Really great to be down at Hart Plaza for part of the 12th festival. 12th!,” Sicko wrote. “I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately-Detroit Techno itself is a pretty improbable occurrence, but the odds against a city-sanctioned festival in its honor to go on this long are astronomical. Unfortunately I could only make it for the first day, but I got to see Movement 2011 come alive as the afternoon turned to evening. It didn’t look like there’d be a record turnout, but that’s indeed what happened.
Jason Huvaere, director of Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival told the Free Press that Dan Sicko was “the first guy who legitimized Detroit’s techno history….Now, the world is drowning in Detroit techno coverage. But before that, there was Dan, who not only understood the history of the city and electronic music, but he was the historian who put it all down on paper.”